The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra Composer Fellowship program was launched in collaboration with the Ontario Region of the Canadian Music Centre in our 18-19 Season. The program is aimed at connecting early career composers with professionals in the orchestral world to nurture and develop new skills through mentorship and the creation of a new work.
Composer Fellows participate in mentorship opportunities with Music Director Gemma New, Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte, HPO musicians and staff. Each Composer Fellow also writes a new work to be premiered by the HPO.
Meeting the 22-23 Composer Fellow
Cadu Verdan is a Brazilian composer based in Ontario, Canada. He is inspired by feelings or events that are part of the human experience, and interested in the use of texture and colours to express his musical ideas. He was selected for the Fresh Inc Festival 2020 organized by the Fifth House Ensemble, USA, and had the world premiere of his string trio Monomania, a commission made possible by the Steven R. Gerber Trust. He is twice winner of the Classical Music Award of the National Foundation of Arts (FUNARTE), Brazil, the most important award in Brazil for classical music, with this works O peso do Eco (2014) and Sobre a angústia (2016), performed respectively at the XXI (2015) and XXII Biennale of Contemporary Music (2017). Verdan was finalist at Tinta Fresca festival (2015) with his Alucinações cadavéricas for symphony orchestra performed by the Filarmônica de Minas Gerais, Brazil. A graduate of Illinois State University (M.M.) and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (B.M.), he is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Western Ontario.
Meet the 21-22 Composer Fellows
Maria Eduarda Mendes Martins
Maria Eduarda Mendes Martins is a composer, conductor and arts administrator originally from Brazil who became a Permanent Resident of Canada in 2019, a decision influenced by her deep involvement with the local community and music production scene in Toronto. Her compositions derive from her interest in using abstract and contrasting sounds to produce medieval-inspired melodies through the instrumental languages of our time. She completed a bachelor’s degree in music composition at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) with Celso Loureiro Chaves, and a master’s degree in music composition at the University of Victoria with Dániel Biró and Christopher Butterfield, where she also received orchestral conducting training with Ajtony Csaba. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in music composition (DMA) at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Gary Kulesha. Her works have been recorded by multiple production companies including Ablaze Records, Redshift Music, Musicworks and Urban Arts Berlin Collective. Her works have also been performed by orchestras and Chambers in cities across North America, South America and Europe.
Jesse Plessis is a Canadian composer of Métis descent born in British Columbia, currently completing a Doctorate in composition at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. He has been recognized for his “skilled hand at crafting textures that pulse with life,” (Winnipeg Free Press) and has earned multiple awards for piano and composition alike. His musical trajectory was shaped by many mentors along his way, through his studies with Deanna Oye (piano) and Arlan Schultz (composition) at the University of Lethbridge, and Megumi Masaki and Patrick Carrabré (composition). He also studied in masterclasses with Norma Fischer in England and Edith Fischer in Switzerland before completing a doctorate in piano performance at the University de Montréal in class with Paul Stewart. He has performed as a pianist on numerous occasions across Canada and Europe while his compositions have been broadcasted on CBC Radio and performed by musicians across Canada.
Program support provided by:
The HPO is thrilled to be a participating orchestra in the Women and Musical Leadership program led by Tapestry Opera. This program addresses a historic gender inequity on the podium by providing female and non-binary conductors active mentorship with leading conductors in the field, deep and varied experience with professional companies, and a robust artistic network. HPO Music Director Gemma New is among the program’s conducting advisors.
Meet the Conductor Fellows
Conductor, pianist, and coach Juliane Gallant has been based in the UK for the past 8 years, where she trained at the National Opera Studio and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She worked as musical director on operas such as Carmen, La bohème, Tosca, La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Orphée aux enfers, and Les contes d’Hoffmann. She is an Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipient. Juliane has regularly taken part in conducting courses at the Royal Opera House, both in person and online during the pandemic, studying with Alice Farnham, Jessica Cottis, and Sian Edwards.
Currently the artistic director of Toronto City Opera, Mississauga Children’s Choir and assistant conductor of the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Jennifer is also an accomplished singer and collaborative pianist. She has performed with orchestras, given recitals and has served on faculty in summer programs internationally.
Jennifer debuted with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival conducting their production of The Mikado in 2017 and has returned to conductSweeney Todd and Tragedy of Carmen. In 2019, she debuted with Opera York conducting their production of La Traviata and was the assistant conductor for Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon’s joint production of the Dora award winning new opera Shanawdithit by Dean Burry and Yvette Nolan. Jennifer is on faculty at the Glenn Gould School and holds degrees in vocal performance and collaborative piano from the Eastman School of Music. She studies conducting with Denis Mastromonaco.